The two protagonists in the last years most heated Philippine Cup semifinal series both won in their respective opening games, but they did it in contrasting fashion.
The Tropang Texters, steered by interim coach Nash Racela, had to go through the wringer, escaping sister team Meralco in overtime, 112-110. TNT actually had a big lead in the second half, but they squandered it as the Bolts put up a big run behind Gilas 2.0 back-up center Jay-R Reyes.
In the second game, former national team standout Yancy De Ocampo outplayed Gilas 2.0 big man Sonny Thoss. De Ocampo recorded a double-double to be the initial frontrunner in the leagues statistical points ladder.
The Texters take on the Global Port Batang Pier next Friday, while the Mixers mix it up with sister team Petron next Sunday.
Game Recaps: TALK N TEXT TROPANG TEXTERS over MERALCO BOLTS, 112-110 (OT)
Nash Racelas debut as PBA head coach had to go extra innings.
But after 53 minutes, the long-time deputy mentor got the job done, propelling the two-time defending champion Talk N Text Tropang Texters to a tense 112-110 victory over the Meralco Bolts Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Im relieved, said Racela, who is pitching in as head coach for Norman Black, who is finishing his coaching stint with Ateneo in the UAAP. Going to this game, our objective was to win, regardless of what happens. Yun bilin ni Coach Norman.
In Racelas first game, Talk N Text squandered a 24-point lead late in the third quarter.
Led by Jay-R Reyes, the Bolts unleashed a crippling 25-4 run . The 6-foot-7 center had six of his teams last nine points, including a last basket in regulation off a feed by Sol Mercado that sent the game into overtime.
But the Tropang Texters showed their championship poise in the extra period.
Four straight points from Jayson Castro and Jared Dillinger gave the Tropang Texters some headway, 110-109. But a three-pointer by Sol Mercado cut the lead to just a single point.
Meralco sent Castro to the free throw line, before the Talk N Text bench was called for a late technical foul for improper bench decorum. Ronjay Buenafe tied the score with a technical free throw, but Castro hit both foul shots to give his team a two-point lead.
Talk N Text shadowed Mercado into a turnover to escape with the win.
San Mig Coffee jumped the gun early on Alaska and never looked back, coasting to an easy 103-83 triumph in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers shot a steady 64.6 percent from the field (42-of-65), clobbered the Aces off the boards (50 to 37) and dished out more assists (27 to 13), leaving San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone more than satisfied with the win.
We jumped into them early at a time when they had great expectations. We lost to them twice in the preseason, said Cone. They were discouraged with our shooting, we defended well and we moved the ball better. When you have that kind of game, you will end up with a 20-point win.
Yancy de Ocampo imposed his will inside, finishing with 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks while James Yap contributed 20 points despite coming off an injury.
Its nice to have a best player of the game aside from James. Its an indictation that were moving the ball better, added Cone.
We just got James back yesterday in practice, Ping (Marc Pingris) two days ago, and Joe back a few days ago. We got Joe back tonight and gave him a few minutes, but he needs to lose some weight. Hes a nice weapon for our team.
The Aces were held to only 30.7 percent shooting from the field (27-of-88) and were outmatched by the Mixers in almost all fronts.
Alaska, which made key additions in the offseason from its coaching staff to its personnel, struggled in their first game without LA Tenorio, the teams former floor leader.
Tenorio was traded to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a deal that netted the Aces Dondon Hontiveros and JVee Casio. Hontiveros led the way for Alaska with 14 points, but Casio struggled with just three points in his debut with his new team.
SMC 103- De Ocampo 22, Yap 20, Barroca 16, Simon 16, Ramos 6, Villanueva 6, Pingris 5, Gonzales 4, Reavis 4, Gaco 2, Devance 2, Ponferada 0, Pacana 0 ALA 83- Hontiveros 14, Baguio 13, Baracael 12, Espinas 12, Dela Cruz 8, Cablay 7, Reyes 6, Thoss 6, Casio 3, Eman 2, Belasco 0 QS: 34-25, 57-42, 75-56, 103-83
Source: Unless otherwise specified, game recaps were compressed and compiled from InterAKTV. (Writing credit to Rey Joble.)
Images: All images are from InterAKTV. (Photo credit to Paolo Papa & Paul Ryan Tan)
Beermen crush Texters, clinch first finals berth - 17 hours ago
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San Miguel Beer's Super Five all came through with super effort in near no-relief games as the Beermen crushed the Jason Castro-less TNT KaTropa side, 96-83, to nail the first berth in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Monday night at the MOA Arena. June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89), Arwind Santos (193-F-81), Chris Ross (185-G-85, college: Marshall), Alex Cabagnot (183-G-82, college: Hawaii-Hilo) and Marcio Lassiter (190-G-87, college: CS Fullerton) were Iron Men powering SMB past TNT in their do-o... [read more]
San Miguel Beer's Super Five all came through with super effort in near no-relief games as the Beermen crushed the Jason Castro-less TNT KaTropa side, 96-83, to nail the first berth in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals Monday night at the MOA Arena. June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89), Arwind Santos (193-F-81), Chris Ross (185-G-85, college: Marshall), Alex Cabagnot (183-G-82, college: Hawaii-Hilo) and Marcio Lassiter (190-G-87, college: CS Fullerton) were Iron Men powering SMB past TNT in their do-or-die setto and into the best-of-seven finals versus the winner of the Barangay Ginebra-Star matchup. Fajardo churned out 22 points and 19 rebounds in his 15th double-double job in 19 games in the tourney, Santos came through with 20 markers and 12 boards in his own double-double effort while Ross (with 18 markers, 10 assists and six boards) had a close shave with a triple-double performance. Cabagnot and Lassiter came up with their double-digit productions with 14 and 12 points, respectively, as SMB completed a come-from-behind win versus TNT and earned a crack at an all-Filipino three-peat. 'I would like to congratulate the TNT organization especially coach Nash Racela . In Game Seven, Austria had to play all his starters almost without rest. Santos, Cabagnot, Ross and Lassiter all played over 40 minutes. Fajardo had the least playing time at 38:31. 'It's the last game of the series.' said Austria. Castro was helpless behind the TNT bench with a strained left hamstring suffered Saturday. Sans Castro, the Texters put up a decent stand in the first half before falling behind by 20 from which they failed to recover. The Beermen unleashed a 12-4 start in the final half to make their first major separation in the contest at 53-43. They then zoomed to a lead as big as 20 and held onto a safe margin all the way to the end. 'From the start, I knew this would be a tough series because the two teams have equal talents. We're a bit fortunate they missed Troy Rosario in Game Six then Jason Castro tonight,' Austria also said. Austria and his team advanced to the finale for the fourth time in the last seven conferences. The league's winningest ball club, San Miguel will be shooting for a seventh all-Filipino crown and 23rdoverall. The Beermen are on line to match the Texters' Philippine Cup three-peat set in 2011-13. Courtesy of: pba.ph
Danny Trapp left JNE BSC Bandung Utama - 3 days ago
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Experienced 34-year old American (has also Filipino passport) guard Danny Trapp (186-83, college: W.Oklahoma St. JC) left JNE BSC Bandung Utama (IBL). In three games in Indonesia he had 7.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.7apg this season. Trapp is quite experienced player. He has played on four different continents (Asia, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Trapp has played previously professionally in China (Leopards and Changsha Bank), Mexico (Bufalos), Dominican Republic (Soles de Sa... [read more]
Experienced 34-year old American (has also Filipino passport) guard Danny Trapp (186-83, college: W.Oklahoma St. JC) left JNE BSC Bandung Utama (IBL). In three games in Indonesia he had 7.7ppg, 2.7rpg and 1.7apg this season. Trapp is quite experienced player. He has played on four different continents (Asia, Latin America, Africa and of course North America). Trapp has played previously professionally in China (Leopards and Changsha Bank), Mexico (Bufalos), Dominican Republic (Soles de Santo Domingo) and Egypt (Somouha). He attended Western Oklahoma St. JC until 2006 and it is his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player. Trapp could be described:
Physical and mental: Consistently runs the floor and never a lapse and transition, Mentally focused and stays within the game. Finds the open seams and pockets and is great at recognizing double teams. Danny is very affective slashing to the basket both with and without the ball, he is a great outside shooter and stretches the defense with his ability to shoot the ball and does well by getting his teammates involved. On the defensive of end, Danny is a tremendous on and off the ball defender as he is very quick on his feet and will cut the floor off very well and rotate. Reminds many coaches of a Gary Paton type of player. He embodies what a scoring yet defensive point guard really is. Danny is very Exciting to watch has a way with the fans not to mention Danny also tried out with the New Jersey Nets in 2009 and was let go the last cut but continues to work hard. Overall he's a solid player with natural athleticism and doesn't show signs of emotions, Adapts to changing game situations, and always find away to win.
Star clobbers Ginebra in Game 5, nears Finals - 4 days ago
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The Star Hotshots whipped up a storm in the third quarter and clobbered the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 89-80, to move a win shy of wrapping up their PBA Philippine Cup Final Four face-off at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night. The two teams engaged in close duel through the first half before the Hotshots really got their act together in the third, making the first major run in the game and holding on to gain the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semis series. The Hotshots pummeled... [read more]
The Star Hotshots whipped up a storm in the third quarter and clobbered the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 89-80, to move a win shy of wrapping up their PBA Philippine Cup Final Four face-off at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday night. The two teams engaged in close duel through the first half before the Hotshots really got their act together in the third, making the first major run in the game and holding on to gain the pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semis series. The Hotshots pummeled the Kings, 22-10, to make a crucial separation in the third, 71-55, and refused to slow down to get into the doorstep of a first finals for the franchise since its grand slam run in the 2013-14 PBA season. Coach Chito Victolero and his troops take their first of two cracks at the titular playoff in Game Six Sundayover at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Rafi Reavis (203-C-77, college: Coppin St.), with 17 points and 13 rebounds, upstaged Japeth Aguilar (206-C-85, college: W.Kentucky) with his best game in the season and the entire Star team seemed to be always a step ahead of Ginebra in this game -- a big key in stopping the Kings' two-game charge in the series. In the fateful third quarter, only three players - LA Tenorio, Jervy Cruz and Scottie Thompson - scored for the Kings. With the Hotshots keeping their domination of the Kings in the fourth quarter, coach Tim Cone rested Tenorio, Thompson, Sol Mercado, Joe Devance and Aguilar with still long minutes left to play. From 17 points down, the Kings managed to come within seven in the last two minutes on the energy and firepower provided by JayJay Helterbrand (180-PG-76, college: Kentucky St.), Mark Caguioa (185-G-79, college: Glendale CC, AZ), Paolo Taha (188-G-90), Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo. But the Hotshots just won't be denied despite the flat start of Marc Pingris, Allein Maliksi (190-F-87) and Paul Lee. Pingris picked up three early fouls while Maliksi fired blanks but the Star reserves picked up the slack as the Hotshots led 49-45 at the turn. Right upon substituting Pingris, Rodney Brondial rattled in eight points then PJ Simon, Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, Ian Sangalang, Aldrech Ramos and Rome dela Rosa also made buckets as the Star bench outscored its Ginebra counterpart, 29-14, in the first two quarters of play. Pingris incurred two fouls in the first four minutes of the game then drew a third one just 14 seconds after he checked back in the second quarter. Reavis helped hold the fort for Star in the first half with nine points and seven rebounds as against Aguilar's 13 markers and three boards. Courtesy of: pba.ph
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